The Suns want to see how Amare Stoudemire returns from eye surgery before offering him a contract extension.
The Phoenix Suns want to see how Amare Stoudemire returns from eye surgery before offering him a contract extension.
The All-Star forward missed the rest of the season after a Feb. 20 operation to repair a partially detached retina, and last week he underwent another procedure as part of the recovery process.
"I think everything looks great, but before you make that kind of a financial commitment, or any commitment in this league, you have to know that your player is fine and ready to go," Suns general manager Steve Kerr said on Tuesday. "I'm on the same page as Charlie (Grantham, Stoudemire's agent) and Amare. We need to see Amare on the court in October and see that everything's going to be OK, which we fully expect. Before we make that kind of commitment, you'd better be sure."
After a workout at U.S. Airways Center last week, Stoudemire said he believes he deserves a maximum extension.
Stoudemire can become a free agent after next season, but he has said he'd like to remain with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2002 — as long as the Suns are contenders. Phoenix missed the playoffs last season.
The Suns have fielded trade offers for Stoudemire this summer. But if they decide to keep him, they could sign him to an extension at any point next season.
Those talks could heat up if Stoudemire comes back strong from his surgery, as he has vowed to do.
"We need to see him play," Kerr said. "Charlie knows that. Amare knows that. Obviously, the eye situation was more serious than what we first thought. The recovery time has taken longer."
Meanwhile, Kerr seemed optimistic that the club will be able to sign two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash to an extension. The team has an option for the upcoming season.
Kerr said he and Suns owner Robert Sarver planned to meet with Nash's representative this week in Las Vegas, where the Suns brass is attending the Las Vegas Summer League. Kerr said discussions with Nash have been upbeat.
"We've kind of put the ball in their court, and we'll see how the next meeting goes," Kerr said. "I feel confident, but it has to actually happen before we can celebrate."